The American company Eat Just Inc said on Wednesday that Dicos, one of China’s largest fast-food chains, has added their plant-based egg product Just Egg to menus at more than 500 restaurants across China.
Dicos will replace its conventional egg patty in items like breakfast burgers and bagels with Just Egg, made from mung beans, at restaurants in cities including Beijing and Shanghai, Eat Just’s co-founder Josh Tetrick told Reuters.
Though still a tiny business compared to China’s giant animal based supply chain, vegetarian alternatives to meat, dairy and seafood are rapidly becoming more popular.
Euromonitor International, a market research provider, predicted China’s meat substitutes market would be worth $12.3 billion by 2025, up from $10.8 billion in 2020.
Tetrick didn’t disclose the financial terms of Eat Just’s deal with Dicos, but he said the COVID-19 pandemic had renewed concerns about domestic food safety in China.
“There is more awareness in China on safety, clean protein and protein free of antibiotics,” said Tetrick. He said his company was in talks with other Chinese restaurant chains to supply Just Egg.
Dicos confirmed its cooperation with Eat Just on social media platform Weibo, stating it was “an innovative new food that helped to support sustainable development for humanity in future”. Dicos launched vegan chicken burgers and nuggets in October last year.
Brands like Starbucks, KFC, Beyond Meat, and Oatly rolled out plant-based food and beverage variations in China last year.